Gedalia Dov Schwartz

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Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz
Av Beth Din
Organisation Beth Din of America
Chicago Rabbinical Council
Began 1991
Personal details
Birth name Gedalia Dov Schwartz
Born (1925-01-24) January 24, 1925 (age 89)
Newark, New Jersey
Nationality United States
Denomination Orthodox
Residence Chicago, Illinois
Children Avraham Yishaya
Rivka Leah
Chaim Heschel[1]
Occupation Rabbi, posek, scholar
Semicha Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary

Gedalia Dov Schwartz (born 24 January 1925[2]) is an eminent Orthodox rabbi, scholar, and posek (halakhic authority) living in Chicago, Illinois. Since 1991 he has been the av beis din (head of the rabbinical court) of both the Beth Din of America and the Chicago Rabbinical Council[3] as well as the rosh beth din (chief presiding judge) of the National Beth Din of the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA).[4] He is also editor of HaDarom, the RCA Torah journal.[4]


Schwartz was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, where he studied under Rabbi Yaakov Benzion Mendelson. He is a graduate of Yeshiva College and the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University, where he received his rabbinic ordination.[2] Following this ordination, he received a fellowship in the Institute of Advanced Rabbinic Research of Yeshiva University. Later he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree.[4] Rabbi Schwartz was honored with the Harav Yosef Dov Halevi Soloveitchik, Joseph B. Soloveitchik Aluf Torah Award, RIETS highest honor, at Yeshiva University's Chag Hasemicha convocation on March 23rd, 2014.[5]

Before coming to Chicago in 1987,[6] Schwartz was the rabbi of the Young Israel of Boro Park for 18 years, and afterwards held pulpits in Rhode Island, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.[2] He is a past president of the Mizrachi of Rhode Island and the RCA Philadelphia Region.[6]


He married Shoshana Poupko (d. 2009), with whom he had two sons and a daughter.[1] Their daughter, Rivka Leah, was married to the late Rabbi Yehoshua Goldman, who directed the Vaad of Cincinnati. In 2010, Rabbi Schwartz married his current rebbetzin, Chana Sarah.


Rabbi Schwartz's opinion is frequently sought by both Jewish and secular sources on issues such as conversion to Judaism,[7] halakhic prenuptial agreements,[8] kashering items for Passover,[9] child abuse,[10] and tattoos.[11] In 2002 he was appointed as the head of a three-judge panel which examined cases of agunahs from the September 11 attacks,[12] using DNA testing of post-mortem remains to verify the death of their husbands and allow them to remarry.[13]

Halakhic works[edit]

  • Divrei Regesh[4]
  • Migdanos Eliezer[4]
  • Shaarei Gedulah[4]


  • Comments on the New York State "Get Law"[14]
  • Halakhah and Minhag in Nusach Hatefillah (1990). Journal of Jewish Music and Liturgy 13, 7-10.[15]


  1. ^ a b Bernstein, Dovid (6 May 2009). "Rebbetzin Shoshana Schwartz a"h". Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c "Multi-Honors for Rabbi Schwartz". Chicago Jewish News. 12 October 2007. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  3. ^ "Staff Biographies". Beth Din of America. 2010. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Chancellor Norman Lamm Pays Tribute to Av Beth Din of the Chicago Rabbinical Council". Yeshiva University News. 9 November 2007. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b "Chicago Rabbinical Council to honor Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz". Jewish United Fund. 18 September 2007. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  7. ^ "RCA Conversions to be Recognized by Israeli Chief Rabbinate". The Jerusalem Post. 20 February 2008. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  8. ^ "Rabbinic Endorsements". Beth Din of America. 2010. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  9. ^ "Chicago Rabbinical Council’s Guidelines to Kashering Counter tops and Stovetops for Pesach". Chicago Rabbinical Council. 2005. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  10. ^ Busch, Alan (20 October 2010). "Participate in National Jewish Child Abuse Prevention Week, October 17th -24th". 
  11. ^ Shellenbarger, Sue (13 October 2010). "Tattoo Myths and Misconceptions". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  12. ^ Pfeffer, Anshel (13 September 2002). "At Ground Zero, rabbis are trying to free the widows". Haaretz. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  13. ^ Nussbaum Cohen, Debra (11 August 2010). "Rabbis and Halacha Grapple With Advances in DNA Technology". The Jewish Daily Forward. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  14. ^ "Comments on the New York State 'Get Law'". Jewish Law. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  15. ^ "Journal of Jewish Music and Liturgy". 1990. Retrieved 6 January 2011.